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  1. #1

    Early 1900s girls' name help???!!!!

    I'm doing several projects at the moment, and one of them is a bit of a dusting-off/reboot of a novel I wrote three drafts of but then stopped because the story fell flat and then into a terrible pit of fire and hatred. A side character I really loved is getting her own story now. Here's a really basic character profile.

    In two drafts of the novel she was two characters. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to make one character now instead of two, because it's harder to make two characters that are also narrators well-developed.

    A short synopsis: In their respective novel drafts they were Verita/Celeste and Bernadetta/Soulline (I was going through a weird name phase. I'm sure all of you can relate). Verita/Celeste was the bubbly, audacious one, and Bernadetta/Soulline was softer and a little more mature. The new character herself is in a similar setting, an orphanage near the turn of the 20th century in some East-coast American city with not-so-great living conditions. This will chronicle her life from age thirteen to when she leaves the orphanage at seventeen, a single working woman. She has auburn hair, brown eyes, and freckles (the way I pictured Celeste), and is on the short side.

    Any ideas for names are appreciated. I like meaningful names, but they obviously don't have to be. Thanks in advance for anything you come up with.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Washington, US
    Posts
    36
    The early 1900's poor were a diverse group from many immigrant cultures-- is her parentage from a different country? Does the orphanage have any religious affiliation? They often did. Also, who gives her her name and is it a common name or a fancy name? if it is fancy--how did she get it?
    Some names based on the ones given that were used at the time:
    Vivian
    Verity
    Vera
    Cynthia
    Clara
    Beatrice
    Henrietta/Etta
    Selina
    Minerva/Minna/Minnie
    Elizabeth variations: Lillie, Beth, Bess, Bessie
    Stella
    Susan, Susanna,
    Adeline
    Vertie
    Flora

    Celeste could still work if you want to use one of the original names.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,500
    TTC Baby #1

    Austen Theodore|Elliott Hezekiah|Walter Lewis|Oscar Elisha
    Matilda Florence|Adelaide Elizabeth|Harriet Penelope|Charlotte Evangeline

  4. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lunalu View Post
    The early 1900's poor were a diverse group from many immigrant cultures-- is her parentage from a different country? Does the orphanage have any religious affiliation? They often did. Also, who gives her her name and is it a common name or a fancy name? if it is fancy--how did she get it?
    Some names based on the ones given that were used at the time:
    Vivian
    Verity
    Vera
    Cynthia
    Clara
    Beatrice
    Henrietta/Etta
    Selina
    Minerva/Minna/Minnie
    Elizabeth variations: Lillie, Beth, Bess, Bessie
    Stella
    Susan, Susanna,
    Adeline
    Vertie
    Flora

    Celeste could still work if you want to use one of the original names.
    Her parentage will most likely be second-gen. Irish or first-gen. Polish. I already have Antonia for a supporting character, so no more A-names if you can help it, please. I would like a unique, but not unusual or weird name for this character, not boring but not silly either. The orphanage is non-sectarian, as it probably would have to be in a place like Philadelphia, per se. Her father gave her her name (I'm going with my gut on that).

    I really like Minnie, and Lillie could possibly be short for Lillian if she does end up being Irish, as well as your suggested Elizabeth. If you have any more suggestions based on this info too, let me know!

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Washington, US
    Posts
    36
    Here are a couple more (mixed heritage)-- they are more lacy and could have diminutives:
    Birdy/Birdie (Bridget, Birgitta)
    Honor/Honora
    Eleanora (Ellie, Nora, Elle etc.)
    Theodosia
    Josephina
    Melinda/Melba? (Mellie, Mel) (Melba--father an opera fan?)
    Leticia (Lettie)
    Lucinda (Lucy, Luce)
    Lorelei
    Jessamine
    Rosemary, Rosalie, Rosie/Rosy, Mary Rose, Rosina

    From my previous list: Henrietta, Selina would work for polish-- I think.
    Hope this helps.

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